It’s not just any Tuesday, it’s ‘McDonald’s Tuesday’ - FitzRoy

It’s not just any Tuesday, it’s ‘McDonald’s Tuesday’

Published: May 1, 2020

Routine is one of the most important things for many people we support at FitzRoy, so when it was announced that McDonald’s would have to close its doors due to coronavirus last month, one of our services was determined to recreate their weekly lunchtime routine.

We spoke to Vickie Howes, deputy manager at our Mayfield supported living service in Cambridgeshire. Vickie said: “Craig and a few other people we support go to McDonald’s every Tuesday lunchtime. Their routine is so important to them, so when it was announced on the news that McDonald’s were closing we decided to try and recreate the experience ourselves.

“We went to our local McDonald’s and explained our situation, and they were absolutely brilliant and gave us so much packaging, cups, burger boxes, chip cartons – everything!

“It was really difficult for the first two weeks to track down all the food to make up our own McDonald’s meal, I had to go to quite a few different supermarkets to find frozen chips, burgers and buns.

“On the Tuesday we made up the McDonald’s meal in the kitchen, drove to our local McDonald’s and we got out of the car and came back with our meal already prepared. Craig loved it and completely accepted it as part of his normal routine which was brilliant.”

And the team at Mayfield haven’t stopped there at recreating some of their residents’ favourite activities, and bringing the outside in to their home during lockdown.

“Joe will normally go to the pub on a Tuesday, but with pubs shutting we had to be creative with that too. We got in some beers from the local corner shop and made him up a meal like he would have at the pub, and he loved it! We have now got him a home brewing kit, so he is making his own beer!

“We also normally get a Chinese takeaway on a Friday night so even with that we made everything ourselves in the kitchen, got the takeaway cartons then drove round the block as if we were picking it up and came back with it.

These are such challenging times, the impact of coronavirus is like nothing we have ever experienced,  and we just want to do everything we can to keep the people we support healthy and safe.

“We make sure that parents stay in contact with their loved ones by setting up face-timing so the people we support can hear the voices of their parents and the parents can see their children. They love that.

“All of my staff are working so hard, I set up a Facebook and Whatsapp group to send my team motivational messages each week, and give a round up of what we are doing and progress on what we have achieved. I just love giving them recognition and thanking them because I’m so proud of them all for their support and their commitment.

“We have found since lockdown behaviour and anxiety in our service hasn’t increased at all. I would definitely say we are thriving, not just surviving.

“I’m really really proud of my team and the people we support – I have been here 19 years and I still love my job more every day.”